What a year.
When 2020 began I doubt any of us had a clue what was coming.
To say it’s been a rollercoaster of a ride is an understatement if I’ve ever heard one.
I don’t need to recap everything that happened in terms of the pandemic, social unrest and economic turmoil, because if you’re reading this blog then I think it’s safe to assume you don’t live under a rock.
It’s 3PM on Christmas Eve here in Australia as I write this. I’m sitting on a park bench overlooking the Bribie Island passage.
In the distance is mainland Australia with its glorious mountains and bushland.
The island I live on is only a small one, connected by a single bridge and with a total population of around 20,000 people who also call it home.
I made the mistake of going to the grocery store earlier today to do some last-minute shopping (and buy some pineapples to make Pina Coladas tomorrow), and I think all 20,000 were there.
It was total mayhem. I’ve never seen it so busy in the 3 years I’ve lived here. It wasn’t even that crowded when the initial COVID pandemic hoarding began. My first thought was “why do all these idiots wait til the last minute to go Christmas shopping?”
But then I remembered I was one of them, and I laughed.
I got in and out as quickly as possible. Social distancing and general courtesy go out the window in grocery stores on Christmas Eve.
On my way home I stopped by this park bench and sat for a while to think about the year that has just passed. I thought it was as good a place as any to write up an end-of-year reflection, and so that’s what I’m doing now.
2020 has been one of the most interesting years of my life. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s been one of the best years of my life.
I feel like I’ve been living on an island both literally and figuratively.
While many people have suffered – and for many I’m sure 2020 has been one of the worst years of their lives – I feel incredibly fortunate and blessed to be able to look back on this year as one of the most pivotal years of my life in my pursuit of personal and financial success.
My sincerest sympathy and empathy goes out to any who have struggled through this year. I know I’m part of a small minority of people who wasn’t harmed in some way by this COVID pandemic, and there’s a huge element of random luck involved with that.
But the truth is, right now as I sit here, I am filled with nothing but gratitude and joy.
When I first set out to learn how to trade (and then shortly after started this blog), I had no idea the kind of ride I was signing up for and how significantly it would change my life forever.
I’m not sure how, but since beginning this blog and my YouTube channel, I’ve attracted nothing but the best kinds of people into my life.
My followers and subscribers (and clients) are among some of the most driven, most patient and understanding, most friendly, most encouraging and most ambitious people I’ve ever had the good fortune to encounter online.
Which, quite honestly, is the last thing I expected.
In my experience before starting my blog and channel, most traders on the internet (and most people for that matter) are the complete opposite of all that. But I guess it’s true what they say. Great minds think alike, and somehow, I’ve been blessed to attract the best.
In January of this year, I had a total of 133 YouTube subscribers. As I write this, my channel has grown to a total of 4,206. I’ve had a total of 161k video views and nearly 20k hours of watch time from those views.
It was clear to me fairly early on that my most popular content was Pine Script tutorials for the TradingView platform, and after making 10 or so videos, I began getting a lot of requests for an actual Pine Script course.
So without having any experience whatsoever in course creation or running an education business, I thought hey, if people want it, I ought to try to give it to them.
So I built out the Pine Script Mastery Course – a course containing 84 lessons and 14+ hours of content addressing the most important core fundamentals of Pine Script.
I released that course (and the free Basics Course) on the 7th of June (my birthday) and since then the Pine Script Mastery website has accrued over 1000 enrollments in total.
I’ve had nothing but positive feedback from that product with the only exception being that nearly everyone who finishes the course wants even more content.
So in 2021 I’ll be releasing a second tier to the Mastery Course as a subscription-based model where I publish new lessons regularly covering new subjects (and old subjects in greater detail) with ongoing content.
In addition to that, my blog has grown massively, and I now receive an average of approximately 15,000 visitors per month. That alone is mind-blowing to me, but in addition to the success of the Mastery Course and my YouTube channel, it’s honestly incredible.
I never imagined to see my audience grow that quickly, and I feel an overwhelming amount of gratitude for that.
And finally, there’s my trading.
Unfortunately I had to take a step back from publishing as much trading-related content this year as I wanted to so that I could focus on establishing the Pine Script courses.
So I haven’t been publishing my trading journal, my weekly market analysis or any trading related lessons in several months.
But that’s going to change in 2021.
This year has been yet another huge milestone in my progress as a trader. Throughout all of this busyness I have continued to trade every single day (when valid opportunities arise), and as such I’ve continued to evolve and improve my process and my results.
The icing on the cake has been the recent crypto bull rally that we’ve just witnessed.
My trading has admittedly suffered a bit due to my split focus and attention on helping other traders with conquering Pine Script to build their own trading tools.
But including my forex trading, my crypto investments and the revenue generated from course sales and ads on my blog & YouTube, I’ve made more money this year than I’ve ever made in a single year.
It’s extremely exciting, particularly given the fact that just a few years ago I was flat broke without a dollar to my name.
I was an injured musician and university drop-out with loads of student debt and an addiction to painkillers and other drugs. I was depressed, borderline suicidal, and at rock bottom with nothing to aspire to or look forward to.
My dreams were shattered after investing every day of my life into mastering music and music production from the age of 15. I was in my late 20s with nothing to show for all the hard work except severe chronic pain in my arms and back. I was completely dependent on my incredibly generous parents and friends.
The only thing that kept me going was my partner of 7 years and soul-mate Jade, who has as of the past couple of months, become the “support” team for my business.
Between the two of us we now handle everything.
She handles the email and support for things that don’t specifically require my time and attention to handle, and I manage the content creation and client work and the back-end of everything we do.
It’s incredibly taxing on our time, but also incredibly rewarding both financially and spiritually.
First of all, I thoroughly enjoy creating content for both YouTube and the Pine Script courses, so it doesn’t always “feel” like work.
When I’m not actively managing trades or backtesting new strategy ideas (which is 90% of my day), I’m either creating content, planning content, or managing the mechanisms we use to deliver content – which is a fun challenge in and of itself.
But above all, to be in a position to help others improve their own skills and as a side-effect, their own financial well-being, and to be rewarded financially for that work, is an absolute dream come true for me.
I love trading, and I will trade every day for the rest of my life.
But it’s not healthy or practical to depend on a single income stream. Not to mention trading is incredibly boring when it’s going well, and incredibly stressful when it’s not.
So having a second income stream through running a business where we get to help other traders on their path and where I get to share the knowledge and wisdom gained from my own personal struggles as a trader is the best arrangement I could possibly ask for.
My injuries and pain still persist despite having an extremely talented team of doctors, osteopathic and psychological help, and I still deal with serious impediments to my ability to work a full-time regimen.
As such I need to take frequent random breaks from work to keep my physical (and mental) health in check. Usually no longer than a day or two here and there, but that’s something I couldn’t possibly do if I were working for someone else.
And that’s why I’m so incredibly grateful to finally be working full-time for myself.
I’ve only ever had 3 real “jobs” in my life.
One was working at a grocery store (just like the one I visited a couple of hours ago), and except for the fact that my boss was a fantastic mentor, I hated that job.
My second job was as a driver delivering car parts, which is where I first injured myself around ten years ago by incorrectly carrying heavy equipment, and my chronic pain problems first began.
My third job was again as a delivery driver; this time delivering boxes of fruit to homes around Brisbane. It wasn’t as grueling as delivering cylinder heads to automotive workshops all day, but it paid like shit and my boss was an asshole.
Such is the life of easily-replaceable unskilled laborers, which I was at the time.
But I always had ambition to climb higher than that.
Throughout those years I was studying computer programming in my spare time, audio engineering at university, and playing in bands almost every weekend with the aspiration to someday be a full-time musician or audio engineer.
That dream slowly fell apart during my final year when I realized the extent of my pain and physical limitations would prevent me from working in that industry long-term, and I was left back at square one. I thought my life was over.
I didn’t have a backup plan. And at the time, I couldn’t imagine a worse fate.
But now as I sit here on this park bench looking out over the bay with the sound of native birds all around me and baby kangaroos hopping by, and I reflect on the year that has just gone, I can’t believe my luck.
One unsuspecting day in 2017 my dad convinced me to attend a stock trading seminar with him despite me having zero interest in finance (or any money) and despite him having zero experience in trading the financial markets as an auto mechanic himself.
I agreed to go along just because it seemed like a good opportunity to bond with my old man, and I thought hey, if I don’t like it, I can always get drunk back at the hotel and watch TV.
That seminar changed my life.
First, it gave me purpose.
After watching Courtney Smith work his magic, I immediately fell in love with the puzzle of navigating the financial markets.
And I can honestly say that even if I had no money, I’d still practice trading just for the sheer challenge of it – because in the beginning, that’s exactly what I did for a year or so on a demo account.
Then my dad lent me $3000 to invest into crypto, and things completely changed for me after a few lucky investments before the mighty 2017/18 crypto “bubble”.
But I quickly learned that my initial success with crypto was just that – pure luck – and then I set out to truly master the markets, and I found myself a trading mentor in Steven Hart.
Steven gave me his blueprint to achieve success in the markets, and I’ve been learning and growing and adapting my own blueprint ever since.
I’m beyond thrilled with where it’s taken me so far, and I can’t wait to continue that journey for the rest of my days. And I’m excited, humbled and incredibly grateful to have you walking alongside me on that journey.
And best of all, this is just the beginning.
Next year I plan to take everything I’m doing up a notch.
I want to bring back my market analysis videos, I want to bring back my public trading journal, I want to bring back regular blog posts, I want to launch some courses covering the fundamental basics of trading and backtesting, and I want to expand my Pine Script courses as much as humanly possible.
At some point I also hope to incorporate more active stock & crypto investments into my wealth creation process and add more trading strategies to my portfolio.
And I want to be as transparent and open about all of it as I can possibly be so that you guys can benefit from my progress (or setbacks) by tagging along for the ride.
I hope you all had a safe and successful year in 2020. And if not, then I hope the success you have in 2021 makes up for everything that didn’t go well this year.
Enjoy the holiday break, share your joy with your friends & family, and have a fantastic New Year.
2020 was a tough ride, and 2021 will continue to test us I’m sure – but I’m living proof that it’s not all bad.
I’ll speak to you soon.